Following Cole’s stellar outing on Sunday (8 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER) he was feeling some gusto in the visiting clubhouse under Wrigley field.
Tony Andracki, who writes for CSN Chicago, highlights what the 26-year-old right-hander said when asked how it felt to shut down the best team in baseball. “It’s an opportunity to get better,” Cole said. “I don’t think they’re the best team in baseball.”
We’re sensing that Gerrit may feel be feeling a bit cocky after finally beating the Cubs, so we thought we’d try to figure out why and, alas, we didn’t have to look far.
In Cole’s last two outings against the Cubs things haven’t gone quite as well as they went Sunday. This goes back to last season’s one-game playoff between the Pirates and the Cubs, which, as we all know, the Cubs won, handily. Cole pitched five innings giving up six hits and four runs, all the runs the Cubs would need to advance on the the NLDS. Thank you for obliging, Mr. Cole.
Next stop, May 2, 2016, when Gerrit pitched 4 2/3 innings while giving up six runs on six hits. It was his worst outing of the 2016 season.
To say that Gerrit has a chip on his shoulder would be putting it mildly. So, yeah, he doesn’t like the Cubs much. Then again, I’m pretty sure no one in Pittsburgh does considering what the Cubs have done against them lately, like outscoring them 38-13 so far in six games this season. That’s an average of 6.33 runs per game, Gerrit.
Well, Gerrit did pitch well yesterday – that’s all good and well. You pitched a great game and should feel good about yourself. However, the Cubs are the best in team in the bigs so far this year, and it’s not even close.
The record says enough at 27-9. Add in the run differential of +109, which is better than the closest two teams combined. The Red Sox (+59) and Cardinals (+49) round out the top three in the Majors.
More support you ask? With 5.94 runs/game the Cubs have the second most average runs per game in the Majors, and the best in the National League, a full 1.19 runs per game better than the Pirates. Couple that with a 2.64 team ERA, which also ranks first in the bigs by a wide margin, and you’ve got yourself a good ole’ fashioned juggernaut. Maybe, just maybe, the best team so far this year in baseball, who knows, it’s all so hard to tell.